1968: Week 6 -- Rhizomatic Learning-- a practical guide

 D Cormier input:

Lets build a practical guide for rhizomatic learning. The rhizome will continue… but what can we leave behind?

What would you say, do, show, explain to a colleague about the rhizome to explain it to them? Do you have an example? A video? A koan? What should an artifact of a rhizomatic event look like? What can we leave behind to remind us of the people we were now? How can we tell stories to explain the rhizome?

That’s the challenge this week. Explain the rhizome. Create a practical guide. What does it mean ‘for us’? How does the story of rhizome help with our own story? Write a collective practical guide from artefacts – tell a story, say what frustrates you, ‘something from you as a person’. Artefacts should be important  for those who know nothing. Something tangible is required.

The emphasis on making something might be a legacy of 'constructionist' learning (see an earlier section) , or it might just be an invitation to have fun. The artefacts produced included a collective poem in the form of a sestina (here). The group also recorded themselves reading their verses - -here. I couldn't resist a bit of mockery, so I made up my own 'sestina' (ie it was not meant to be a proper sestina, not proper poetry, not written with poetic intentions -- see below).

There were several superb  posters produced by one particular participant [I shall be glad to credit him if he wants me to], like these irresistible ones:

poster 1


poster 3

Even more images and diagrams were swapped on Twitter.
There were also some videos shared on Twitter

There was also some experimental writing undertaken by the members of the earlier Rhizo14, some of whom participated in Rhizo15. This took the form of a piece apparently pursuing 'collaborative autoethnography', which seems to have involved freestyle comment on short pieces of writing produced by other people. I am not sure if the comments were intended to change the writing or just to admire it
. Rhizo15 participants were told of the piece in a post. ( NB I have left the fonts and layout as they were in my actual copy).

I have made some comments in the notes attached to the piece itself. One element helped me make more sense of a post about 'collaborative autoethnography' which puzzled me during Rhizo15:

It seems to involve citing D&G as an authority for collaborative work (see below)

Collaborative autoethnography about rhizomatic learning seemed appropriate, given Deleuze and Guattari famously start their explanation of the rhizome in A Thousand Plateaus (1988) by fracturing the identity and unity of the authors from a coherent, identifiable two into an incoherent, rhizomatic swarm:

The two of us wrote Anti-Oedipus together. Since each of us was several, there was already quite a crowd. Here we have made use of everything that came within range, what was closest as well as farthest away. We have assigned clever pseudonyms to prevent recognition. Why have we kept our own names? Out of habit, purely out of habit. To make ourselves unrecognizable in turn. To render imperceptible, not ourselves, but what makes us act, feel, and think. Also because it's nice to talk like everybody else, to say the sun rises, when everybody knows it's only a manner of speaking. To reach, not the point where one no longer says I, but the point where it is no longer of any importance whether one says I.

We are no longer ourselves. Each will know his own. We have been aided, inspired, multiplied.   

Then it goes on to make the standard claims for autoethnography

Geist-Martin et al cite Ellis (2004, p. 30) on autoethnography, and it captures how I feel about this approach, why I wanted to do it: “The goal is to practice an artful, poetic, and empathic social science in which readers can keep in their minds and feel in their bodies the complexities of concrete moments of lived experience”

Then somehow the two ideas are brought together:

Chang et al (p. 26): “CAE offers us a scholarly space to hold up mirrors to each other in communal self-interrogation and to explore our subjectivity in the company of one another”

Practical implications include:
just FYI: the discussion reached a point where we realized it makes no sense to call it "collab auto" unless every person who "authors" something out of it is involved... which means everything you publish out of it cannot refer to people who are not authoring it. If that's clear?
So there are 20+ people who wrote in the gdoc. If 10 of us are writing this article, we ONLY refer to the narratives of the 10 of us. We do NOT speak about other people. It would not be "auto" otherwise.

This seems to be an odd reversion to the notion of the self as normal individual whose 'natural ' and 'personal' thoughts, and pure expressions,  would be contaminated by writing or speaking about other people (presumably these have to be cleaned out first, leaving a purified monadic ego). This would seem to contradict much of D&G on collaboration as 'becoming', developing 'indirect free discourse'  and 'collective enunciation' etc. Presumably it is acceptable to write of or speak to other individuals if they are also purified egos as in 'communal self-interrogation'.
Electronic media were also used. Some participants constructed a 'radio play' (streamed not broadcast) consisting of an imaginary dialogue between a rhizomatic learner and an arborescent educator. My own reaction was posted to the Facebook Group and I reported my self underwhelmed and unconvinced by the straw man defending arborescence. One version also offered an amateur rendition of the song  'Santa Claus Is Coming To Town' rendered as ''RhizoRadio is Coming To Town -- here).

Plans were underway for a video mashup as well. The plans were developing after the course actually ended so I don't know if it was ever produced, but an outline was shared among the key participants.

It is hard to discuss these artefacts because they are seen as an outpouring of personal subjective expression, and/or collections of such expressions. The only terms one can bring to bear relate to the sincerity or 'authenticity' of the work as an expression of personal feeling. Since only the persons themselves can know whether they are validly expressing what they feel or not, and since no-one wants to make personal criticisms, the safe bet is to refrain from any criticism at all. As a contributor to the 'untext' put it:

i’d stand by this document as authentic even before it is written on the strength of both the social and plain risk-taking foolishness.

Deleuze and Guattari on art

Deleuze and Guattari are very interested in artistic works of all kinds, and comment frequently upon them.  These comments are not about the sincerity or authenticity of the text, however, as you would expect if you read D and G as hostile to the normal notions of the individual as a human subject with some internal, entirely personal generator of expressions and feelings.

We have noted already that for our heroes creativity is not to be gained by pretending to be children (week 2), and that creativity requires 'sobriety' and technique (week 3) , not just doing something that comes immediately into your head, possibly after taking recreational chemicals. Both are pretty straight about recreational chemicals generally, in fact.

As usual, it is not a straightforward matter to assess their commentaries on artistic works.  For my money, what Deleuze in particular is doing is treating artistic work as a kind of philosophy, interrogating it for its philosophical importance, particularly in terms of its criticism of conventional thinking, and its allusion to some notion of virtual reality.  Thus Proust is admired for his method in moving beyond conventional interpretations of signs to arrive at some notion of multiplicity.  Bacon is admired for the way in which he explores the ability of painting to develop a language that breaks with conventional depictions of reality and alludes to something else - in this case, the body without organs.  Kafka is admired for his attempts to break with conventional utterances, to make language become minoritarian or to 'stutter'. A wide range of authors like Artaud, Beckett, Lewis Carroll, DH and TE Lawrence, Masoch, Melville, Scott-Fitzgerald, Tournier, Wolfe, Woolfson, and Zola are also discussed and admired through a philosophical 'lens' as liberals might say. 
The approach is defended in the collection of essays on the project to link 'the critical' with 'the clinical'. It is clear at least,  from the copious references, that both Deleuze and Guattari quite like experimental writers, those belonging to the vaguely defined 'surrealist' group especially, from Borges to Henry Miller to Raymond Roussel, Pierrette Fleutiaux or  Gherasim Luca. You can get quick summaries of these people and/or their work on the Web -- wikipedia of course but also RousselFleutiaux and Luca 

Deleuze's massive books on the cinema clearly treat art cinema as a kind of applied philosophy. 'Otherwise, the work of art would have no necessity of its own; there would only be a contingency, and a gratuitousness, anything about anything else, as in the mass of bad arty films', (Cinema 2: 253).   Intellectual activities represent cinema in its ‘essence [sic] …  Which is not the majority of films’ (Cinema 2:  168)   If we analyze cinema adequately, we can see, for example, that new notions of movement and time are being offered to us: they happen to parallel those breakthrough concepts developed by Bergson, and others.  As the translators say, the work 'is an illustration and exemplification of Deleuze's radical view of philosophy developed in a series of major works from Différence et Répétition to Mille Plateaux. This explains the gnomic utterance at the start of the work:  ‘the universe [is a] cinema in itself, a metacinema’ (Cinema 1:  59). In particular, modern cinema develops ‘a camera consciousness which would no longer be defined by the movements it is able to follow or make, but by the mental connections it is able to enter into…  Questioning, responding, objecting, provoking…  Hypothesising, experimenting’ (Cinema 2:  23). As a result ‘It is as if cinema were telling us: with me, with the movement image, you can’t escape the shock which arouses the thinker in you’ (Cinema 2, 157). 

Deleuze goes on to argue that the cinema has its own form of semiotics as well ( as do other arts) , and thus cannot rely on the Saussurian semiotics that are so common in film studies, but which are based on written and spoken forms.  Visual communication requires an examination of specific signs.  Bogue offers an extremely clear list of such signs, where,for example, Deleuze identifies 
'pure optical and sonic images that break the sensori-motor schema (what Deleuze calls opsigns and sonsigns)' (107). Briefly, the 'sensori-motor schema' is used to organize films around the persons of actors behaving naturalistically  -- the camera sees what they see, the narrative runs in the conventional way as in a life-story, perceptions and motivations are 'natural'  and so on. Modern cinema breaks with this schema and produces special images of space and time. Conventional narratives follow sensori-motor schema and it is this that helps them claim to be true [realistic].  If we abandon common sense and the sensori-motor schema, however, 'time appears directly', in the form of '" deactualized peaks of the present…  virtual sheets of the past"', and normal conceptions of space and time are 'immediately subverted' (147).  Lacking moorings in the sensori-motor, it is impossible or irrelevant to say what is a true recollection and what is a false one. For time, 'chronosigns' blur the distinctions between the true and the false.
The easiest example of the deployment of chronosigns, perhaps,  is the way the story is told in Citizen Kane with revisits to the different pasts of the characters trying to recall what Kane meant to them
in the contexts they remember,and showing how perceptions from different time periods are connected. If you haven't seen Citizen Kane for a while, read Deleuze's comments (ignoring or postponing reading any incomprehensible bullshit as ever) and have another look -- it will open your eyes!

Looking at the actual commentaries on the vast number of films and directors in Cinema 1 and Cinema 2 , it is clear that Deleuze also rates most highly those films that he regards as experimental and philosophically-informed.  These include some more mainstream classics like those of Orson Welles or Hitchcock, who are depicted as genuine philosophers and auteurs.  There is also an extensive citation of works by what might be seen as 'art-house' directors like Pasolini, Robbe-Grillet, Syberberg, or the Japanese director Ozu.  Reading Deleuze had the pleasant outcome of introducing me to some of these people and reintroducing me to others. However, the philosophical and political impact of cinema is arguably demonstrated best in Deleuze's discussion of the 'avant-garde' including work by Beckett and Godard. To take these as manageable examples, Deleuze sees in Samuel Beckett's short film (Film) a number of ways in which camera positions can be used to criticize conventional takes on reality and the construction of identity (it was also Buster Keaton's last film I think) .  In a classic maneuver, Deleuze diagrams Beckett's positions, adding to the diagram other possibilities which even Beckett has not realized. You can see Film here. It lasts 17 minutes. I have a slightly longer account of Deleuze's analysis here
In Godard's Six Fois Deux, discussed in Cinema 2 and at greater length in Negotiations,  Deleuze admires the break with conventional ways to link objects and their representations, including verbal representations. You can see clips of the film with an English commentary here. This discussion is the source of the remark that children are political prisoners cited earlier:

The second idea [in the film] is to do with information and the need to examine concrete variants.  School teaching is often instruction, delivering precepts and supplying the means, like syntax,  to produce accepted meanings: 'we should take him quite literally when Godard says children are political prisoners' (41).  Much television also involves instruction, in learning to recognize different genres, like separating news from entertainment, perhaps as much as it conveys information.  But there are slippages, silences, stammering as well—such as images of people with open mouths [the open mouths of the victims in Battleship Potemkin compared with the open mouth of a trade union leader in one clip].  Sounds come to represent images.  Godard asks how people can speak without giving orders, how they can be entitled to speak, and what part sounds play ‘in the struggle against power’ (41).
Instead of conventional continuity Godard  offers 'false continuity', a series of shots connected by 'and'. 

‘Multiplicity is precisely in the “and”’ (41) as Godard shows.  He shows this actively, that 'AND is neither one thing nor the other, it's always in between, between two things; it’s the borderline, there's always a border, a line of flight or flow only we  don't see it, because it's the least perceptible of things.  And yet it's along this line of flight that things come to pass, becomings evolve, revolutions take shape' (45).  Power itself lies on the border, as we see with cold war ‘stability’.  Godard is trying to see borders, 'images and sounds...  A whole micro politics of borders, countering the macro politics of large groups' (45).

The result is something completely unconventional that requires the audience to puzzle out the connections both between objects and their representations and the series of episodes that make up the film.  As the indispensable Bogue puts it, (this time in his chapter in Semetsky, I. (Ed.) (2008) Nomadic Education: Variations on a Theme by Deleuze and Guattari. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers -- maybe available online) the audience is forced to think what assemblage lies behind these broken links. In my experience, however, some of the audience is also likely to think it is just incomprehensible rubbish.

There are some very interesting discussions on deleuzian approaches to film and video in the specialist deleuzian journal A/V.  Rhizo15 participants might do well to look at some examples -- Guattari and his interests in cinema here , Deleuze on the arts here or  even an ingenious attempt to model a rhizome in CGI here.

Visual ethnography

Deleuze has some interesting critical comments on visual ethnography. These can be extended to collaborative autoethnography, perhaps. Deleuze particularly likes the work of J Rouch and P Perrault, but again offers a new line on their work. It  is not just visual ethnology, he argues, but rather a form of indirect discourse (discussed in general in ATP Chapter 4).  Any n
arrative transmits 'what one has heard, what someone else said to you.  Hearsay' (85).  This means that indirect discourse is the basis of language, with metaphors and metonyms as mere effects, presupposing indirect discourse.   A single voice contains a number of other voices, 'all discourse is indirect'. 

It is not enough for a (visual) ethnographer just to chart as an ethnographer the myths of the colonized, nor to pursue just his own private fictional vision.  Instead, there can be a process of intercession, taking real characters, and showing how they make up myths of their own, as a positive act, as a collective utterance.  The same goes for the filmmaker, who also becomes another, as real characters replace his fiction.  ‘Rouch makes his own indirect free discourse at the same time as his characters make that of Africa’ (152). Both Rouch and Perrault clearly wanted to break with their own dominant conceptions, by rediscovering lost identities and breaking with the dominant civilization.  Both merged with the characters and became other, breaking with the conventional divisions between film maker and characters.  Both show that process whereby 'I is another'.  A new collectivity between filmmaker and characters emerges (153). 

Perrault’s  intercessions are an example in his work on the oppressed of Quebec as ‘the story telling of the people to come’ (223), an act which overcomes the abstraction of the intellectual and the private condition of the character (223).  In Rouch, the different speech acts combine in a ‘free indirect discourse of Africa about itself’, and about Europe and America.  Overall, ‘third world cinema has this aim: through trance or crisis, to constitute an assemblage which brings real parties together, in order to make them produce collective utterances as the prefiguration of the people’ (224).

Again we are possibly far from the playful collaborative autoethnography of Rhizo15. If they developed a shared discourse it was probably not a free indirect one, but more like a communal one developed by people who largely think alike?

I have provided some further discussion, illustration of Deleuze's work on Rouch and some links to Rouch's films here

Did Rhizo15 commit art?

Whether the audio or visual pieces offered by the participants of rhizo 15 can be seen as philosophical in intention is debatable.  As argued above, it is hard to take any criticism very far without risking being seen as questioning the sincerity of the persons themselves.  Certainly, some of the forms they develop include pastiche, another name for mash up, and this has a notorious place in the history of visual media as an uncritical 'postmodern' form that takes artistic work but turns it into a simulacrum, for the purposes of mere entertainment, or, sometimes, for commercial reasons.  Certainly, pastiche actually requires no critical artistic intentions these days (although it might have begun with them), unlike, say, the struggles of Bacon painting the figural, or Godard pursuing a deliberate programme of 'semioclasm', bringing together clashing images and sounds, or carefully tracing all the conventions of documentary, and then systematically breaking each one ( for example in the legendary Pravda).

To put this in a more 'practical' way, I asked the participants of the group whether or not they had thought about using some of the experimental forms actually admired by Deleuze and Guattari.  These can offer substantial inputs, even for those only interested in parody or pastiche. Luca's 'stammering poems' look like being fun to write as well as showing the possibilities of minoritarian language.  Six Fois Deux could easily be borrowed and redeployed by amateur video makers -- I have outlined my treatment of a project here.  The question that I began with returns again - why not remain with Deleuze and Guattari if you're looking for interesting and experimental artistic projects? Why not follow up some of the citations -- eg to the surrealist poet G Luca (here) I especially like the one that begins:

you black slip me
you red ballet slipper me
and when you don’t high heel my senses
you crocodile them
you seal you fascinate them
you cover me
I discover you I invent you
sometimes you deliver yourself

Here's my Ode to a Senior Manager

you tree me
you binary and bifurcate me
and when you don't biunivocalise my senses
you segment them
you axiomatize, you overcode them
I schizoanalyze, machine you
sometimes you fascicularize yourself

Collaborative writing

Collaborative writing seems to be the approach that is most borrowed, however, and a number of experiments have taken place, allegedly informed by D&G (see, for example Gale et al (2010) Deleuzian Thought and Collaborative Writing: a Play in Four Acts). Of course, Deleuze talks about specific collaborations, with Guattari and Parnet, but it is not clear that he is advocating collaborative writing as such. After all, he also produced a substantial number of solo-written pieces, and so did Guattari. Deleuze certainly did not always want to collaborate with some people, or even discuss his work, as we have seen: the 'harsh critic' was told to sod off and read another book; Badiou reports that Deleuze refused to discuss things with him. As a result, it seems to me to be dangerous to extract an abstract notion of 'collaborative writing' as a mere technique torn out of these contexts: Deleuze saw it as profitable to collaborate specifically with Guattari on specific projects -- but not on all projects by any means. it is not difficult to see why a collaboration between these two specific individuals might have been particularly fruitful: both are extremely well-read and are clearly pioneers of critical thinking and they both had quite different and interesting ideas, about Freud, say, or about structural linguistics. They both fizz with ideas, and they both clearly undertook to learn something from each other.

It is worth looking at what D and D&G actually say about their collaboration

  According to Deleuze, in Dialogues

This book [Dialogues] happened, therefore, not merely between two books, but between Félix Guattari and me.  And as I wrote it with Claire Parnet, this is a new point which made possible a new line- between.  What mattered was not the points - Félix, Claire Parnet, me and many others who functioned simply as temporary, transitory and evanescent points of subjectivation -but the collection of bifurcating, or divergent and muddled lines which constituted this book as a multiplicity and which passed between the points, carrying them along without never going from the one to the other…  According to becomings which were unattributable to individuals, since they could not be immersed in it without changing qualitatively.  As we became less sure of what came from one, what came from the other, or even from someone else, we would become clearer about "What is it to write?" (ix--x)
My encounter with Félix Guattari changed a lot of things.  Félix already had a long history of political involvement and of psychiatric work.  He was not a philosopher by training, but he had a philosopher - becoming all the more for this, and many other becomings too.  He never stopped.  Few people have given me the impression as he did have moving at each moment; not changing, but moving in his entirety with the aid of a gesture he was making, of a word which he was saying, of a vocal sound, like a kaleidoscope forming a new combination every time.  Always the same Félix, yet one whose proper name denoted something which was happening, and not a subject.  Félix the man of the group, of bands or tribes, and yet he is the man alone, a desert populated by all these groups and all his friends, all his becomings.  Many people have worked in pairs: the Goncourt Brothers,Erckmann-Chatrian, Laurel and Hardy.  But there are no rules, there is no general formula...  What was important for us was less our working together than this strange fact of working between the two of us ( my emphasis) .  We stopped being "author".  And these "between-the-twos" referred back to other people...  And all the stories of becomings, of nuptials against nature, of a-parallel evolution, of bilingualism, of theft of thoughts, were what I had with Félix.  I stole Félix and I hope he did the same for me…  We do not work together, we work between the two.  In these conditions, as soon as there is this type of multiplicity, there is politics, micropolitics…  We don't work, we negotiate.  We were never in the same rhythm, we were always out of step...  From time to time we have written about the same idea, and have noticed later that we have not grasped it at all in the same way: witness "bodies without organs"'[and then black holes and white screens leading to the discussion on faciality in Chapter 7 of ATP ] (16-17).

The discussion above emphasizes collaborative writing as a means to something -- to a becoming, a new line, a multiplicity,  at the very least to a deep interactive sharing of ideas well beyond usual notions of collaborative authorship. It is impossible to say whether the collaborative writers in other work were aiming at this sort of becoming, of course, but most examples I have seen does not seem to achieve this.  Readers can have a look at the 'untext' and make up their own minds. 'Becoming' means something far more than enjoying each other;s company, of course, but involves an exploration of the links between actualities at the virtual level (see chapter  10). Were rhizo participants attempting to be bi/multilingual, enter into a nuptial, pursue an a-parallel evolution? Did collaboration take place among people with the characteristics of Deleuze and Guattari -- both quite different, with established trajectories of topics and thoughts, formidable scholarship and similar philosophical interests that emerged as they began to discuss?
The pieces I have read by Rhizo 15 and 14 people could equally read as a series of individual utterances, some of which follow on from earlier ones. I think D&G would call this a series of univocal conversations.  If they were based around a previously agreed central  theme, they might qualify as a fasicular root -- better than a tree but still way off a rhizome.Again it seems odd to explore rhizomatic education but not rhizomatic writing.

In Deleuze, G. (2006) Two Regimes of Madness.  Texts and Interviews 1975 to 1995, edited by David Lapoujade, translated by Ames Hodge and Mike Taormina.  London: the MIT Press [I have not got round to completing my notes on this collection yet], there is a letter explaining the collaborative relationship, from Deleuze's point of view - 'Félix would probably have a different take on it' (237).  Félix is described as participating in many different activities, jumping from one to the other, and never ceasing in 'tinkering with these ideas'(238).  At the same time, he has periods of 'deepest solitude'.  Félix helped him see that concepts 'are neither generalities nor truths'.

Writing AntiOedipus, they wanted to work together and 'began by reading a lot: ethnology, economics, linguistics etc.  That was our raw material'.  They began the process 'with long, disorderly letters.  They were interminable'.  They met for a few days 'or weeks', and also worked independently and exhaustively.  They swapped drafts.  They 'coined terms' (239).  They found, as all authors probably do, that 'the book at times took on a powerful coherence that could not be assigned to either one of us'.

It is clear that they had differences in the way in which they wrote:  'We never had the same rhythm'.  When they did meet, 'we didn't dialogue: one of us would speak and the other would listen'.  After exhaustive discussion, 'the concept acquire an autonomous existence, which sometimes we continue to understand differently (for example, we never did understand "the organless body" in quite the same way) [thank God --it's not just me then] '.  Working together was not about homogenizing their ideas but proliferating and accumulating them to produce 'a rhizome'.  Deleuze seems to have had a role in attempting to manage the explosions of ideas produced by Guattari: Félix had these brainstorms, and I was like a lighting [sic] rod.  Whatever I grounded would leap up again, changed, and then Félix would start again, etc., and that is how we progressed'.

When it came to ATP, however, despite its complexity, and coverage of many disciplines, they had developed 'such a good working relationship that the one could guess where the other was headed'.  [I have argued that this is the consequence of developing a shared academic habitus in Bourdieu's sense, and affects all academics when they gain enough experience].  The resulting conversations were 'full of ellipses'.  They pursued 'various resonances, not between us but among the various disciplines we were traversing'.  Deleuze sees the 'best moments of [writing] the book' as 'music and the ritornello [chapter 11] , the war machine and nomads [chapter 12]  , and animal-becoming [chapter 10]' (239-40). Incidentally, the chapter on the refrain or ritornello is one of the weirdest in the whole book (the themes also appear at length in Machinic Unconscious). I have never seen it referenced by any educational writer although it seems to have many implications.

As we might expect, it was the differences between Deleuze and Guattari that energized the collaboration, not their similar beliefs and backgrounds
. Their joint product was not based on achieving some consensus based on elaborated mutual respect, fear of making personal criticism and tolerance to the point of relativism as is fashionable among modern academics.They wanted to preserve the 'bifurcations', even to multiply them. The collaborations were based on a considerable initial scholarship, not just on sharing experiences. Face-to-face discussions followed lengthy correspondence. They pressed each other to the point of exhaustion. Deleuze seems to have undertaken to discipline Guattari's erratic work habits -- one review* of their collaboration says that Deleuze insisted that Guattari sent him fresh text every day by 4 pm that he would then rewrite.

It might be interesting to compare Guattari's take on writing AntiOedipus as well in his (2006) The Anti-Oedipus Papers. New York: Semiotext(e) Foreign Agents Series.  If this is the raw material that Deleuze had to manage, then Deleuze is a hero. Guattari's work is impossible to summarize, although someone has organized the musings into thematic sections. There are lists of points, comments on readings from others (quite a lot of Freud and Lacan, of course), brief accounts of his work with patients, discussions of  implications of various takes on linguistics (including Hjemslev). The very point of the notes is difficult to establish, but then we are reading one half of a conversation. It is possible to see what Deleuze meant by the value of working with Guattari -- he is a man awash with ideas and insights if only they can be slowed down and organized a bit -- but what a gargantuan task to do so!

Guattari also despaired, apparently, and described some of his own writing as 'stupid shit' -- see this fascinating account here

Guattari's contributions to ATP were also published separately as The Machinic Unconscious . I found this book fairly clear, better than ATP, and, miles better than the notes for Anti-Oedipus. Who organized and systematized those thoughts for Guattari? We know that he credits conversations with Deleuze as a source
but were there others? Mrs Deleuze  -- Fanny -- gets credited now and then for organizing the work for both D&G, and for helping out Gilles with ideas for that matter --diagramming Beckett's Film as above, and also providing him with a homely analogy for folding in the case of Foucault -- the hem (see Deleuze 1999: 98, and see the diagram on 120) . The poor woman must have listened to the two of them banging on quite a lot -- as did the heroic Frau Adorno, incidentally who took notes of conversation between Adorno and Horkheimer for the document that finally became Dialectic of the Enlightenment.

However, I still think there might have been others in the collaboration - the copyeditors and publishers. Anyone who has been published knows how crucial these people are, how they have saved many embarrassments arising from awkward style, and how their sometimes annoying  requests for clarity have made structuring the work more effective. To borrow a favourite trope by Deleuze, the existing accounts of collaboration are not collaborative enough -- they miss out many important contributors.

No such efforts have been traced so far, but I still think that somewhere in the Great Archive there must be letters from publishers saying:

Dear Gilles and Félix

Marketing sent me their annual data this morning and it looks like Anti-Oedipus has sold more than 50,000 copies and has one of the  highest volumes for overseas sales in English. Congratulations! At our meeting we discussed whether there might be time and room for a followup. How about it? As established authors, we could offer you 10% royalties this time.


Dear Prof Deleuze and Dr Guattari

I am copy editing your work and I have a list of queries. Please could you respond in four weeks?

1: The title is A Thousand Plateaus but there are only 15 chapters. Does this matter? Should readers have this explained?.
2. I see that you refer to Bateson's work on plateaus but not until page 52. Should this reference come earlier?
3.Is the term 'rhizome' being used consistently? The change in definitions (eg pp 7 and 14) surely needs a word of explanation to the reader?
4. Is it  'significance' or  'signifiance' (eg chapter 6 passim)? If 'signifiance' is right, please explain this term on first introduction.
5. You cite HP Lovecraft on p 138 but I could not find a reference in the bibliography.
6. Who exactly do you mean by 'the Prince of the North' p. 54?
7. Has the Wolf-Man got any living relatives and if so do we need their permission to discuss his case?
8. Who is responsible for the diagrams in chapter 7? Do we need copyright clearance?

9.Please consider redrafting the phrase 'Lacan is a complete phallus' on p.84. I know this is a joke but isn't it rather a weak one?
10.There is considerable repetition of the discussion on the wasp and the orchid (eg chapters 1, 5,9). Is this a problem? Please bear in mind we have a proposed word length of 85,000.

If only...

** Osborne.P. (2011) 'Guattareuze?' New Left Review 69: 139--51.

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